Know your most loyal customers and the best way to engage with them.
Image from Goodway Technologies Corporation
Let’s Go Fishing!
Capturing customers is like going fishing. You need to know what the fish are biting on and where they are biting. Every fisherman has his own secret or sweet spot. As a businessman you have one too, you just might not realize it.
The best fish are the ones in your own pond. These are your existing customers. You already know them and they know you. If a person has one good experience, they expect another. In other words, they already like your bait.
You already spent the money to acquire the customer and get them in your pond on the first sale or service. Any additional sales or service to that customer come at an increased profit. Now who doesn’t want increased profit?
When fishing in your own pond, your most powerful bait is knowledge about your customer’s equipment and needs. That means if you’ve ever installed a new unit or cleaned the coils on an existing unit, then you know the next time that unit should be serviced.
Be sure to follow up and remind your customer when their next service is due. Just create a database or use your existing software. Send postcards or emails.
If you sell filters, send reminders when it is time for them to re-order. If have already made the filter sale, you know what size they need and when they will need them again. Remember, information is your bait. You can even offer a small incentive (5%) if they order within a certain time period. This creates a sense of urgency and prompts the fish to hit the bait. This offer can be as simple as a postcard or an email.
Even if you don’t sell filters, offer a filter reminder service. With these days of automation, it is easy to automatically generate a monthly email reminding your customer that its time to change their filter, schedule a coil cleaning or descaling. You can even include a bit of trivia or a tip in the email to keep them engaged. This keeps your company name and phone number in front of your customer every month. When it is time to give someone a call for new equipment or HVAC maintenance services, your company will be the first name that comes to mind.
Everyone loves to be appreciated. Next holiday season when everyone is sending out Christmas and New Year cards; get a jump on the competition and send a Happy Thanksgiving card. Even if you only send it to your best customers, your card will stand out because it arrives before the rush. Be sure to thank them for trusting your company and let them know you appreciate their business. You can even offer a discount on a furnace check-up.
Customer Lifetime Value
If you don’t think it pays to keep in contact with customers, just take a look at customer lifetime value. This is the amount of money you can expect to earn from a customer during the life of your relationship.
- Just figure how many years you expect to have that customer (for example 30 years)
- Then estimate the amount of profit per sale
- Then calculate the amount you will earn from that customer over the lifetime.
For example, let’s say you plan on having a customer for 30 years. In that time span you plan on selling them 2 furnaces ($6,000 profit) and 3 Air conditioners ($8,000 profit) and doing about $2,500 in service calls. That customer is worth $16,500.
Now many people don’t stay in the same house for 30 years anymore, but many will live in the same general area. Don’t you want your company to be the one they call when they need service or equipment?
Follow-up marketing will keep you on their mind.